DOUGLAS COUNTY, Neb. (KCAU) – The Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) confirmed Nebraska’s first case of the U.K. variant of COVID-19, known as B-117.
Health officials reported that genomic sequencing at the Nebraska Public Health Lab uncovered the variant in a woman in her 20s.
“The state has long stated that we suspected these new variants of this virus were circulating in Nebraska and we have been vigilant in our genomic sequencing efforts to quickly identify new variants to slow the spread. Masking, distancing, and getting vaccinated remain our best defenses against these new variants,” said Dr. Gary Anthone, DHHS Chief Medical Officer.
“This is not a surprise as this variant has been found in 45 other states. This strain is more easily transmitted, but the available vaccines have shown to be effective against it,” said Dr. Adi Pour, DCHD Health Director.
The health department said a thorough review of the case is underway and has already undergone contact tracing.
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have shown to be effective against this variant.
Health officials report the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has also proven to be effective against B-117.
“This is one more good reason for people to continue to mask-up, practice social distancing, and get vaccinated,” said Dr. Pour.